On finally upgrading my Samsung Galaxy S II phone to Jelly Bean

A year ago, I got my first smartphone, a Samsung Galaxy SII through T-Mobile. At some point I upgraded it to Ice Cream Sandwich. Unfortunately, that introduced a terrible limitation for my phone: I found that I could not disable the shutter-clicking sound effect when capturing video!! I looked online and found that it was not possible without rooting. This made me truly angry because it meant that my phone was unusable for capturing video. Read On →

Alia Musica concert including flutist Robert Dick

Abby and I attended Alia Musica’s spring concert, featuring older as well as brand new music. Robert Dick made an appearance to repeat his famous composition, [Meristem], which had played in his solo recital also. Henry Doktorski played two pieces in this program with Alia Music as accordionist. And so Robert Dick’s Pittsburgh tour came to an end. What a week it’s been! (Update of 2014-01-16) This is an unfinished post that is one of many in the past two years that lay unfinished because I had originally planned to write a very detailed report but never got around to it. Read On →

A comeback from Pittsburgh Marathon overtraining

Last week I reported on running Just A Short Run, my first half marathon in nine years. One very real concern I had when I put this race on my calendar a month ago was that recovery from it might interfere with my marathon training. Although I did not race Just A Short Run all out, I did put in a hard effort, and sure enough I did end up having a really tough training week afterwards.

But the overtraining this week was partly my doing. Here I explain how I ended up feeling like I was falling apart, and how I recovered and felt pretty good during today’s long run.

Pittsburgh Marathon Warmup on Walnut run

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Energetic Robert Dick solo flute recital in Pittsburgh with Alia Musica

Robert Dick I attended Robert Dick’s solo flute recital in Pittsburgh with Alia Musica. It was a real treat. A real master of the flute. Here he was during a sound check: (Update of 2014-01-16) This is an unfinished post that is one of many in the past two years that lay unfinished because I had originally planned to write a very detailed report but never got around to it. Read On →

Attending a fascinating Robert Dick flute lecture and master class

It was a real treat that flutist Robert Dick came to Pittsburgh to give lectures, master classes, and performances in town. He’s most known for being a pioneer in “extended techniques”. Interviews Some interviews with Robert Dick before he came to Pittsburgh, thanks to Pittsburgh New Music Net: Part 1 Part 2 Lecture and master class I attended his lecture and master class held at CMU. It was fantastic. Read On →

Report on Just A Short Run: my first half marathon in nine years!

(Updated 2013-05-09 with official race videos!)

Until today, I had not run a half marathon in nine years. This distance had given me a lot of trouble the five times I did it in 2001-2004. So I was very anxious about running Just A Short Run this morning.

Here’s why I feared it, and how I ended up unexpectedly pleased with the experience, including finishing over four minutes faster than my goal time.

Franklin done

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Flute master class: becoming a great ensemble player

Jennifer Conner, second flute with Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, presented a lecture and master class entitled “Becoming a Great Ensemble Player and a Valued Colleague in an Orchestra” at CMU. This was the second master class I’ve attended in my life (the first one being at the Mideast early music workshop last summer). I took a lot of notes while observing and reflecting on what she said and demonstrated and what the music students did. Read On →

OpenHack Pittsburgh: exploring Scala odds and ends

A third OpenHack Pittsburgh meeting was organized, and I attended again. It was held again at The Beauty Shoppe, just like the previous time. I was pleased by how much progress had been made in the construction inside. The space was looking really nice. Scala stuff My plan was to continue working on a personal project in Scala. That plan kind of changed because Roy wanted to ask me questions about Scala. Read On →

RIP Bebo Valdés, master pianist of Cuban music

Bebo and Chucho I just heard about the death of Bebo Valdés at age 94 in Sweden. I discovered this Cuban musician a decade ago, when, as a big fan of Latin (especially Cuban) dance and music, I bought the documentary “Calle 54” when it came out. I had heard the playing of his son Chucho and was very curious how Bebo’s playing might differ. The father had a more old-fashioned style, of course. Read On →

My second year of celebrating Johann Sebastian Bach's birthday: a tale of accidental love

Last year I reported on celebrating the birthday of Johann Sebastian Bach, born in 1685. I was still just barely beginning to play the flute seriously then, and I read through some music of his transcribed for flute.

I have progressed tremendously on flute in the past year; the difference between having played flute for a few months and playing it for a few months plus a whole year is really huge. So this year, to celebrate, I played for myself some of Bach’s actual music written for flute: selections from his flute sonatas.

Of course, my Bach bobblehead still watches over me.

J S Bach bobblehead and Franklin

I have a tale of accidental love to tell.

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